Monday, December 29, 2014

Mommy!!!

Hey, that was super fun talking to all of you on Christmas day! :) It is so awesome how the members here are all so amazing and so willing to have us in their homes. Our ward mission leader is the one that let us use his home to Skype with all of you, and rather than just going up stairs he said, " Hey, lets all go outside and play with some of our new toys to give the missionaries a little bit of privacy." It was super funny! He is one of the best people that I have met on my mission so far! Anyways, I am super happy that I got to see all of you on Christmas. That was for sure by far the best part of the day. We had the whole zone together to play sports that night, but it did not even compare to Skyping.

The past couple of days have been super weird... Tons of people have been getting sick so we have not had many people that we taught, but the past couple of days I have not felt sick but I have not felt totally normal either. It has been really weird. But I am feeling good today! :) So I am super happy about that!!! Oh and don't worry, as much as I love all of you guys I am not homesick or anything! It is such a great blessing that I have not been super homesick yet on my mission. That would just make  everything super hard haha! :D

Yesterday a little miracle happened! :) Someone that I taught in one of my past areas was having a hard time for the past couple of months, and hasn't been seen by any of the members in the area for a while. It was super scary because I wanted to know what was going on, and I wanted to help in any way that I could... But as I have been thinking and praying for him it finally payed off! :) Yesterday on Facebook I got a message from Sister Hickman in Ahwatukee and she said that he was at church today!!! :) That was the best news that I have gotten all week! It was just such a relief to know that he is doing alright! :D

I think that is super cool about the lesson with that teacher. I know that if I were to be recorded all day every day I would act, and speak differently. It isn't even that I use bad language, or am a bad person or anything but I just know that I could always do better! :) That would be a super fun thing to do one of these days for sure! Thank you so much for telling me about that little story!

I have been stressing out like crazy for the past couple of days!!! :O We have Zone Meeting on Tuesday so Elder May and I need to prepare a big training for the entire zone which is already a little bit stressful. Then we found out that we were going to be teaching Gospel Principles on Saturday night before church which was crazy, and now we just found out that the Assistants want us to have the entire transfers training plan to them by tonight. :O IT IS GOING TO BE A CRAZY DAY! But at least I know that when this is all done I can go back to feeling normal again! But even though I am stressed out of my mind, I am still having a BLAST on my mission!!! :)

Love you tons,
Elder Brandon Wallentine


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MOMMY!!!
Hey so I got both of those packages by the way! Thanks so much! I am having a hard time fighting the urge to open them though! ;) It is just so exciting to get mail on your mission that you always want to open it immediately! :) haha But I am waiting til CHRISTMAS!!! I love you tons and that's about all I have to say right now since I will see y'all TOMORROW!!! If we can skype at like 1:30-2ish that would be perfect!!! I am super stoked for it! Also thanks for the awesome letter again! It is always nice to get letters from home! ;)
Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mommy!!!
That is super cool that the moms got up and told some of their missionary’s stories! :) That is a ton of missionaries out from our ward. I did not even realize that there were that many!!! 

You will also be happy to know that both of those people in Gila Bend that got interviewed for baptism got baptized this past Saturday!!! It sounded like it was an awesome experience and now those same Sister Missionaries have someone else that should be getting baptized very soon also! It is going to be an amazing next transfer! There is another area in this Zone that has always had the reputation of not teaching a ton called Ajo (Pronounced Ah-ho). The Sisters that are down there right now are doing such an amazing job at staying motivated! They just recently put the first person in a while on date for baptism for this month! It is going to be super awesome to see this guy as he is preparing for baptism! Elder May and I are taking a 2 hour drive down there to interview him on Wednesday! I am super stoked!!! Amazing things are going to be happening this transfer and I am super excited to see what all the Lord has in store for us!

Last night was transfer calls........................................... And..................................... Elder May and I are staying together for at least 6 MORE WEEKS!!! :) When President Toone called last night to let us know who all was getting transferred he only said that one person was leaving the zone. So the zone basically stayed the same! :) We were so excited and I am sure that President and Sister Toone were able to tell how excited we were due to all of the cheering in the background! :D It was super funny because when they told us that we yelled, "That is DELICIOUS!!!" Then when the phone call was about to end President Toone said, "Elder's, you are delicious as well." It was probably one of the funniest things that I have ever heard President Toone say since I have been on my mission! :) It was way funnier in the moment though since it was like 11:00pm when they ended up calling us! haha

I am super excited for this upcoming week because we have some good people that we are going to go and see! The teaching in this area has really picked up lately. Especially within the past week! Last night we had a super fun time because we are teaching 2 kids in separate households that have ADD/ADHD. They are super hard to keep focused, and they never want to sit still just like any other 10 year old kid. But we made these super fun little games that we can teach the lessons to them in a fun way that gets them moving around. We made like that fun little carnival game that you try to throw the bean bags through the holes in the board! We wrote numbers of principals for the Restoration of the Gospel on each one of the little holes and when they made one of the balls through the hole we went over one of the principals with them! It was really fun and it worked even better than what we expected!!! Then the second time we went over and taught the Plan of Salvation, but we did it using play dough! It was super fun because we got the whole family involved and we were all making little things with the play dough that resembled something in the Plan of Salvation! It was a really good experience! :D

I know that no matter what I do while I am here on my mission, nothing is going to happen without the Spirit. If I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing then it will be impossible for me to have the Spirit and to testify in the powerful way that a worthy priesthood holder could! :) I love seeing how when we do what we can, people just seem to come up and want what we have! What we have is so great, and it is the greatest gift that we could possibly give anybody this Christmas Season! I love you all tons and can’t wait to Skype with you NEXT WEEK!!! Oh and BT-Dubs... You won’t be getting an email from me until Tuesday next week because we are going to be having our Christmas Mission Conference going on! :) So don’t worry. . . I am just fine, and I am still alive!

Love you tons,
Elder Brandon Wallentine





Monday, December 8, 2014

Mommy!!!

It was really cool with how smoothly the Thanksgiving dinner went though. The family worked super hard all day to prepare the meal since they were not originally planning on 4 missionaries coming over too. They pulled it off super nicely! Elder May and I had a blast because we were able to keep the little boy entertained while the parents were finishing up dinner (btw we did offer to help with the food)!!! :D The little boy is about 2 years old and he kept on playing with dinosaurs with us! One super funny thing that he did is he took like this little toy temple, and he put it on his head and yelled, "I'M THE TEMPLE!!!" Totally would not have been nearly as funny if I had done it, but he pulled it off!

That's super funny that the missionaries there are in a triple companionship! I always hate when I am put in those!!! It is super fun depending on who you are with, but it is always a little bit more awkward when you go up to a door, or someone on the street with 3 missionaries. I feel like people find it super intimidating! haha But I am sure that they are all great missionaries and they will do just fine in that companionship!

This past week was a pretty good week! We are teaching some really cool people this week, but are also kind of struggling with finding people in our area... Our area is still the best in the entire world though!!! :) I love the ward that we are in, and all of the members are super supportive of the missionary work that is going on here! I really appreciate that! I can’t wait for this next week and all of the miracles that are going to happen! Tuesday was a super rough day though for sure! We had like 7 appointments set up with some people, and only 1 of them actually happened... :( But I told Elder May, "Its a good thing that we are the HAPPIEST MISSIONARIES in the MISSION!" President Toone sure knew what he was doing when he put us here together! 

One thing that is super cool though about this past transfer is that although we are struggling with finding some new people to teach and all, the zone is doing amazing things!!! There is a place here called Gila Bend that is a super small town where everybody knows everybody! The missionaries there have not baptized in a super long time. But everybody has been so excited this past month, and they have 2 people getting baptized this next weekend!!! I am so excited for them!!! Oh and no big deal... I INTERVIEWED SANTA FOR BAPTISM!!! The guy that I interviewed down in Gila Bend plays Santa at all of the schools and old folks homes down there, and also up here in Maricopa! It was super funny!!! :) Thanks for all that you do and I love you so much!!!

Love you tons,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, December 1, 2014

HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING!!!

Yeah, I thought that was super cool how that lady called and asked our moms what we wanted for thanksgiving! :) That lady actually ended up getting sick which was a bummer... But she was so awesome and passed down the information to the family that fed us! :) It was amazing!!! They made the sweet potato stuff with the brown sugar and marsh mallows on it! It was so good and I really enjoyed being there with that family! In the morning it was super cool because we got permission to go to our wards Turkey Bowl!!! As soon as we got the OK to go, Elder May and I thought it would be funny to go in our missionary clothes!!! We showed up in our white shirts, ties, slacks, and running shoes! :) It was the best idea that we could have possibly had for sure!!! But it got even better when we found out that the field that we were going to be playing on had been flooded by the sprinklers that morning! We were running up and down the field, falling down, and getting tagged in the mud! Our clothes got pretty dirty, but not nearly as dirty as I thought that they would! You will be happy to know that I do still know how to do laundry though, so all of the clothes are just fine, and I bleached my white shirt! :) It was so much fun! Even though I know that it would have been a ton of fun back home for thanksgiving, I think that this was the best thanksgiving that could have possibly happened on my mission. I love it!

That is super cool that you all got to get together and see each other a few times this past week! I remember when we would always have a bunch of big feasts, and a huge one with the whole family at Uncle Ben’s house! That is always one of the best parts of Thanksgiving, getting over there and hanging out with the family! I love that!!! :) 

It is really funny because we are going to a place today that reminds me so much of their house! They have a barn with pool tables and stuff in it, and then they have a volley ball court right next to it! The only difference is that they have a golf course too, so we are going to have a super fun P day today! :) I am super excited!  Oh, and also for the movie that we got to watch! We watched...... FROZEN!!! It was such a good movie! Elder May and I set up a projector in the relief society room and put the movie on in there with popcorn and stuff! It turned out super well, and it was really cool/weird to be able to watch a movie like that on my mission! The end message that we got from it though is not to get engaged right after your mission. Otherwise your fiance might just end up being the one that locks you in a room when you have just gotten hit in the heart with a thing of ice... That would for sure be no fun! :D haha It was way fun though and I love the part when the snowman is talking and he says, "Hey, I'm not sure if this helps... but, I found a staircase that goes exactly where we need to go..." It was so funny! I think he is for sure my favorite character in that movie!!! :)

That is way cool about Brenden's talk!!! He is going to be such an amazing missionary and I am so happy that he is getting out there to do work! :) I cannot wait to hear about the experiences that he has in Argentina! :) It seems like it was just yesterday that I was over at their house saying goodbye to them... but now I am more then half way done... CRAZY!!! Make sure to tell the Elwood's that I love them, and wish Brenden GOOD LUCK on his mission!!! 

Thank you for keeping me up to date on everything that is going on back home! I am really loving my missionary life out here in Maricopa right now! :) This is the place to be, and we are all so excited about the work here!!! Since Elder May and I got here we have seen such great miracles in this area! :) When we came into the area we did not even have 1 investigator, but now it is really cool because this next week we are meeting with so many awesome families! Keep me in your prayers, and specifically those families that we will be seeing this week!!! I am really excited for the miracles to come this next week!!! :)

I love you tons,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mommy!!!

Thank you for that awesome letter once again even though I seem to say that every time that I write to you! :) I think that game sounds super fun where you have to use a word from the Bible Dictionary in a door approach! We will have to try that for sure some time! But as for the whole Punching game, we are not hurt yet, so it is still all fun and games! I am having a blast here in Maricopa still with Elder May! Most of the time when you are together with a companion it gets to the point where you just get completely sick of each other, but it is really cool because we are super good friends! It is going to be a super fun rest of the transfer, and hopefully we stay for a couple of transfers! :)

This past week was a little bit less busy then what we would prefer but we were able to go and talk to a ton of the members, and get to know the area a little bit better! It was an amazing week in that way! We also had ANOTHER zone meeting where Elder May and I trained and we had some of the sisters put together a "Title of Liberty" for the Maricopa zone that has all of our goals written down on it! It turned out super cool! Now the same sisters have a member in their ward that works at like a screen printing store and we are all going and getting shirts to get some stuff printed on them today! I will be sure to take a picture in it so that you know what they say! :) They will be super Legit!!! I am super excited for Thanksgiving this week because this morning we got off the phone with President Toone and he said that we can watch a MOVIE!!! :) I have not been able to watch a movie my entire mission so far, so it is going to be really cool, and super fun for sure! We are debating on weather we want to watch like "Secondhand Lions" or "Frozen" so we will see what everyone wants to do!

I promised that I would send you a ton of the pictures that Elder May and I have taken so I will sent those to you now!!! We have taken TONS of pictures for sure!!! Love you so much Mom!!!

Love you tons,
Elder Brandon Wallentine





Monday, November 17, 2014

Mommy!!!

I am so grateful for little things and big things that help our testimonies of the gospel have a chance to grow! It is impossible to not believe that God loves us!!! I use the story about the missionaries coming to our hotel in Belgium a ton when we are teaching with members, and investigators both. It is so amazing!!! I also told the story that dad told to us about when he was in the Branch Presidency and was asked to make a comment in the branch meeting. I love that story because obviously the Spirit whispered to dad what he needed to say! It is so amazing how such little things take such high priority in God's eyes, just because he knows that it would mean the world to us! :D

One amazing thing that I have learned on my mission is how important preparation really is! When we get up in the morning we have a strict schedule!!! We get up at 6:30 to exercise, then we have to be all ready for the day by 8:00. Right at 8:00 we have personal study time where we get to spiritually prepare ourselves for the day, and all of our lessons that are going to be happening that day. It is such an amazing time, and it is so important to not only have our bodies ready for what is going to be happening that day, but we NEED to be spiritually ready as well! As we study and prepare for our lessons, not all of the lessons will go exactly the way that we studied for. But it is really cool because when we prepare something, God will help us and tell us what exactly needs to be said, and he will tell us when exactly we need to say it!!!

This week has been pretty eventful for me as well! :) We had a great P Day on last Monday! We all got together as a Zone and played some capture the flag, and soccer. That was super fun because all of us in this zone are just super happy to be here! I have really noticed since I have been here in this area how much attitude really affects people. Elder May and myself have really been trying to keep the HYPE up about missionary work, and it has worked miracles so far! :) We are focusing on asking everyone that we come in contact with for referrals!!! This morning when we talked with President Toone on the phone our zone got called out for having a ton of referrals! It was really cool because that is one of the biggest things that we are focusing on right now! We are already seeing miracles happen in the zone because of our focus!!!

On Wednesday we had something super crazy happen! So our bishop gave us some lists of some people to go by. So naturally we are going to go by anybody that the Bishop tells us too, since he is basically awesome!!! But when we stopped by one of the houses the people didn't answer... SHOCKER... however, Elder May introduced me to a game called "Prius Punch" and so we have been playing that game ever since we have been companions for the past week and a half!!! There was a Prius in the driveway across the street from the house that we had just knocked on. So needless to say, I saw it first and yelled, "PRIUS PUNCH!!!" and hit Elder May in the arm. But then is when the cool thing happened. After I did that I turned to Elder May and said, "Hey, lets go by that house with the Prius in the driveway!" He agreed and we walked up and knocked on the door! A guy came to the door, and before he could say anything NOT 1 BUT 2, Great Danes came out of the house and we started to pet them! They were super cool and of course they were super HUGE... I guess that is why they are called GREAT Danes haha... But after the dogs went back inside we introduced ourselves and he LET US IN!!! We started talking to him a little bit and found out that his wife's' family are members, and they actually have some cousins that are out on missions right now! It was a really cool experience and we are really trying to meet up with them again soon! He told us that for the next visit he is going to have his wife there too! I am super stoked!!! 

You're the best and I am so glad that I know that I have your support!!! :) SEE YOU ON CHRISTMAS!!! 

Love you tons!!
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, November 3, 2014



Mommy!!!

So this week was super crazy because we had a ton of things going on, plus Halloween, and then Saturday was just an all around awesome day to be a missionary for me! :) To start off it was transfer call Sunday (yesterday) and I got a call to get transferred out of the area that I am serving in right now. I am thinking that I will either go to Maricopa, or I will go into Gilbert to be with Elder May! :) That would be so amazing but I am trying not to get my hopes up in case that does not happen! :D

But on Saturday and Sunday this past week we had stake conference and this time it was a little bit different because on the Sunday session there was a broadcast from Salt Lake with Elder Christofferson, President Uchtdorf, and some other people. First the stake president talked to us and then the rest of the time it was the broadcast for all of the stakes in the state of Arizona! :) It was really cool. What I really got out of it is that they were telling people that the tribulation that is going on right now in the world is not ending, but it is getting worse, and the devil is making new ways to harm us as children of God. It was a little bit scary to think about, but I am so glad that even though we hear that stuff we can know that Heavenly Father will ALWAYS be there for us!

On Friday since it was Halloween we had to be inside by 6pm because they didn't want us out with a bunch of trick or treaters, and it would be a little bit dangerous for missionaries to be out I guess! So we went inside and played some board games and stuff! :) Right when we got in the house we got out some silly string that one of our members gave to us and sprayed down the other two elders that live with us! It was so funny to see their reactions! :) Then we played the game "The Settlers of Zarahemla" It was super fun and it ended up just being me and one of the other Elders, Elder Johnson that played with me. The others were being party poopers! :) haha But that is fine haha!!!

Anyways I will cut to the chase of what happened on Saturday! It was amazing because 2 days before on Thursday I found out that Ian and Stafnie (people that I taught over in Temple) were getting baptized at 10:00am in the morning on Saturday! But then we had tickets to go up to the Phoenix Temple Open House with some members and that family that we have been teaching, and it is a 1 hour trip up there, and our tickets were for 11:30am. So we went to the baptism, left before they even got baptized, drove all they way back here to Mesa to meet up with our members, and headed up to the Temple. It was so amazing to be able to go up there and especially to be able to go up there with some investigators! :) They loved it!!! Then the members took all of us out to eat at Olive Garden which was super good because I had never ever been there before! :) It was an awesome week and I wish that I could go into it a little bit more. But don't worry I also wrote it in my journal!!! :)

Love you tons!!!
Elder Wallentine


Monday, October 27, 2014

Mommy!!!

Hey mom this week was super cool because we were able to have an awesome baptism which was probably one of the most smooth running baptisms that I have had in my entire mission so far! It was awesome! :) The guy that got baptized was so ready and he just didn't even know how ready he was a few weeks ago. He had gone through about 3 years worth of missionaries and continued to pray and came to church and stuff like that, but just didn't know for sure if this was the right path for him yet. It was super cool when we were able to teach him and that he came to the conclusion that he did not need a big sign to know that it was true but he just needed to put all of the little things together! :) It was an amazing experience to teach him. Every single person that we are able to help like that just makes my testimony build even bigger and even though I have a testimony that the Gospel and Church is true, it never hurts to have it built up a little bit more!

Other than that though we still had a super good and eventful week this past week! We were able to come in contact with the lady that referred herself to us which was really cool and we were able to go over and teach her a little bit more as well as her family! They are so awesome and it is amazing how fast you can grow to love people as you help them come a little bit closer to Christ! It is so awesome and it is especially awesome that they are actually keeping the reading assignments that we give them and also doing more on top of that! They are an awesome family! :) I can just tell that they really do want to know if this is really true! 

We were also able to go and do a ton of service on Saturday and also found out a little bit more of how the whole mission leadership works when we are here! :) We moved 2 people in one morning, and then also went and helped the ward with a big project that they were doing! It was super fun because when we are able to go and do things like that we are, first of all, able to go and get out of our church clothes for a while, but then we are able to also meet people that would never be open to us in the white shirts and ties! :) Its awesome! But over all it was a super good week and to finish it today we went to Cafe Rio today and there were like a ton of people there that were members of the church, some of them were ladies and they came over to our table while we were eating and said that they were going to take some pics of us and send them to our moms! I do not know your phone number so I gave them Dad's and they are going to send all of the pics to him and then both of you can see them! :) It is super fun when people want to do that though! :D

Anyways I love you so much and cannot wait to hear from you guys again next week! 

Love,
Elder Wallentine

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mommy!!!

That was super awesome on Friday night when I got to see Jason! I didn't really know what to think when I saw him with the bag of goodies that he got for me, but I also did not know if I was allowed to get out and talk to him or anything. It was super fun to see him though, and it is super weird because that is the first time that I have actually seen any of you in person for just over 15 months. :) It was super fun though! Even though I stayed in the car I still really enjoyed that! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! 

It was really funny though because I thought since I had just seen Jason I should probably call President Toone and just let him know how it all played out and stuff! I tried to call him a couple times but there was no answer, so I decided to call the Assistants. I called them and said, "Hey, so I just tried to call President Toone and there was no answer. But, I thought that I should probably call and just let you guys and him know that my brother just stopped by my house and dropped off some junk food for me." They then said, "Oh dang!!! Well thanks for letting us know, and make sure that you let President Toone know when you can." Then they asked, "Did you get out and give him a hug?" I said, "Ummm... No, I stayed in the car like I was supposed too." Then they said, "Oh man you totally should have given him a hug!" But it was totally cool because I didn't know that I could so I just thought that I would stay safe! :D Then when I got in touch with President Toone he said about the same thing as the assistants! Which I thought was super funny for sure! That was a funny night.

The work here in this area is for sure picking up though now! It is getting to be really fun to get closer and closer to the members of the ward here, and they are all just super nice, and getting more missionary minded every day it seems like! It is way cool to see! As far as "Meet the Mormons" goes we don't have any handouts yet because they want it to be more of the members tool right now to get their friends out to it. 

We have a baptism for a guy that we are teaching right now coming up on Friday! :) That is going to be super cool because It seems like it has been forever since I have actually had someone that I am teaching get baptized, even though it was only like 2 transfers ago! haha

I am super excited for our stake conference coming up in early November! We are going to be trained on the exact same thing and we were able to go and assign one of the missionaries in our zone to stand up and give a talk at the Saturday night session on some success stories and hastening the work of salvation! It will be super cool because they are also probably going to give me and my companion the chance to get up and bear our testimonies on the work of salvation also since we are the zone leaders! It should be a super cool experience, and I am super excited for it! But I totally agree that the youth and the members are completely key to finding the elect people, and also just to the work of salvation in general. It is really cool just how much faster people work toward baptism when they have friends in the church, and when they are being encouraged from not only the missionaries, but all of their friends, and leaders in the church. It helps a ton!!!

I am currently teaching this girl over SKYPE who lives in Idaho right now and was meeting with the missionaries over there for a while.  I am really enjoying finding not only people that I can help in this area, but also if people need help in other parts of the world that we and the other missionaries in that area can totally be there for them! I really love that quote that you posted! "FAITH IS A CHOICE! CHOOSE FAITH OVER DOUBT!" I think that is so powerful and it is amazing how much that can really help if you just put your faith before your doubts. I am currently reading in the New Testament and it is amazing just how in the very beginning of Matthew there are so many miracles performed by Christ. But none of those miracles could have come to pass if the person on the receiving end did not at least have a little bit of faith that they could be healed.

I read a section in Matthew this week that really helped me though. There are always temptations in the world whether you are a missionary or not. Even when Jesus Christ was on the earth He did not go without being tempted by the adversary. It is super sad because although they are brothers, Satan just kept on bashing Christ with these chances to prove himself. He tells him that if he is the Son of God then he will take some rocks and he will turn them into bread. But Jesus does not give in. He does not even try to fight back, or argue. He simply says something to the affect of; Men cannot live by bread alone, but they also need the word of god in their lives. It is just another testimony builder that if we truly do follow the example of Jesus Christ even after baptism, we will be able to know Him better, and we WILL be able to make it to live with our Heavenly Father again! I love that!!!

Well mom thank you for the awesome letter and I really appreciate all that you guys do for me and how much you show your love to me as I am away from home! I love you all tons!!! :)

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mommy!!!

I was so happy that this week went by fast, but at the same time think it would have been nice for it to have been a little bit longer! We were able to go and see a lot of the people that we are actively teaching and helping right now, including that lady that I told you about! She is so awesome! Her aunt and cousin actually came to church with her this Sunday to help her get a little bit more comfortable which was super cool! They wanted to get a picture of us with her outside of the church which was super funny I thought! :D

It started out as a really good week because on every 1st and 3rd Sunday one of the members of the stake that is over the missionary work invited all of the missionaries in the Stake over to have a little correlation meeting and he also has root beer floats! It is always really fun because they are really trying to focus on making this stake have the happiest missionaries in the entire mission! I like it a lot!!! :P 

Then on Tuesday we had Zone Meeting and so Elder Hardy (my companion), Sister Homer (the sister training leader), and I did a training on making sure that we do our best to get the Spirit there and allow it to testify to those that we are teaching! We had 3 scenarios that we put the missionaries in. The 1st one was in a messy home with the TV on and toys all over the place. This was a different environment because when a home is messy and unorganized then it is a ton harder, and almost impossible for the person getting taught to feel of the Spirit. Then we set up another room as a clean home with a center piece, some pictures of Jesus Christ, and also some couches that would be comfortable. We were able to feel the Spirit a lot stronger in that environment. Then the last one was in the church building giving someone a tour of the church. When we walked into the Chapel it was amazing the Spirit that we felt. It felt literally like it is described in the Mormon message "The Hope of Gods Light" and it was an amazing experience! :) It really does make a huge difference to make sure that our environments are good! It can make the difference between feeling the Spirit and not being able to feel it at all!

We also got to watch the movie MEET THE MORMONS as a mission on Wednesday which was super cool! We got to see it before everyone else because they wanted us to see what was going on so that when people have questions about it we will be able to know how to answer them! It was a really fun time and if you have not seen that movie yet you need to go and see it as soon as you can! It was amazing!!! Anyways, I love you tons and my toe is doing a lot better now! I hope that you guys all have a good week and make sure to tell everybody hi for me!!! Love you Jason, Katie, Izzy, Ryan, Ashley, Brandon, Collette, Emmett, Tyler, Emily, Caleb, Mom, and Dad!!! You all are the BEST!!!

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mommy!!!

Thank you so much for the awesome letter that you sent me once again! It was super crazy because we never really did figure out why the conference call last week was having so many big problems. It was just trying to be a pain I guess. ;) I think it was probably more operator error than anything since there were like 28 people trying to operate it at the exact same time that seems like a pretty safe bet! haha It went a lot better this morning though because I got the names of all of the Zone Leaders that I am supposed to call from now on, so then I don't have to deal with all of the frustration of getting all of the Zones together. :D That made me a little bit happier!!!

This week was a super crazy week though. Usually on Mondays it is super hard to find something to do because we are only out from 6-9 and most of the members are having FHE at that time so we can't really go and visit them unannounced or anything. haha But last Monday was one of the best Mondays that I have had in my entire mission so far because we were able to find a member of the ward that would be willing to come with us to a lesson that we had set up with this awesome lady who has been coming to church for a while with here aunt in a different area! She is really cool and I can't wait because we are meeting with her again today!!! :D I love days that you are just running around constantly trying to get around to all of the appointments that you have set up for that day. It is the best feeling ever when you are busy!

Conference was AWESOME this year! I never would have thought back home that conference would go by so fast, or that I would enjoy it so much while I am here on my mission. I loved these last sessions of conference. I found out that if I am not constantly doing something with my hands, or just moving in general I get super distracted, and lose focus really fast. So during conference I was taking lots of notes on paper instead of my iPad, and then I also started to doodle. I drew almost all of the speakers on the paper that I was taking notes on! It was super fun!!! :P 

One thing that really stood out to me is "STAY IN THE BOAT!" I thought that was super cool because there are so many things that you can get caught up on and if you just jump out of the "boat" then you cannot expect to ever understand it. God is always here to help us, and he will never turn his back on us, but if we jump out of the boat and turn our backs on Him, He cannot help us like He wants too. I love the Mormon message "Wrong Roads" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland because it explains super well that blessings don't always come when we want them. Same with answers to our prayers. He says, "Some come soon, some come late, and some don't come til heaven. But they come!" That is so awesome to be able to know that God loves us so much that He WILL answer all of our prayers, and He WILL bless us as we follow His commandments!

So tomorrow I am going out to the Foot Doctor again to get my other toe looked at and get rid of another ingrown toe. I'm sure it will be just as enjoyable as the last time I had it done, and I am sooooo excited... NOT!!! :) But one thing that is really cool is that the Dr. that is going to be helping me is Dr. Crezee who I'm not sure if you guys remember but I Skyped you from their home last Mothers day! They are super cool and it is going to be super fun to be able to see him again tomorrow! It will be awesome! I will make sure to send you guys pictures of it! 

I LOVE YOU TONS!!!

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine



Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello!!

One thing that I have really noticed is that when we all share personal experiences that we have had in our lives people open up a ton more and we are able to allow them to feel the Spirit in a way that they may not have if you didn't share that. Although I am still just a young man I still have  experiences in some things and they have really helped me as I have continued on through my mission so far. It is amazing!

This last week on Thursday we had transfer meeting and both of my companions got transferred and I stayed here in Mesa. I love it here and the members for sure take really good care of us. My new companion is named Elder Hardy and he is from Salt Lake City. He is for sure an interesting kid. He is always super energetic and super happy, which is super good! These past few days have been super hard for me for some reason. I just do not really feel like myself. I don't like it at all. 

This morning we had a conference call with President Toone, the assistants, and the other Zone Leaders in the mission and that got me super frustrated because the conference calls have to be set up all weird because the phones can only call like 2 people at a time, and there are 14 zones. It was super frustrating and I am super glad that is over. I think that is one of the reasons that today I am just a little bit unhappy. But I still love my mission and still try to keep a smile on my face everywhere. The way that I see it is if I am not happy, then I better FAKE being happy until I GET HAPPY! It has seemed to work so far so I am going to keep on trying to do that. 

This week should be a really good week because we are going to go and see a ton of super cool people that we have been teaching. Although not everybody in the whole world is interested right now to hear the gospel, I know that there are always people all around us that have been prepared to hear it. This got confirmed to me yesterday when we went over to meet with one of our investigators. He has been looking into the church for like 3 years and he has never agreed to be baptized yet. But when we went to church yesterday he was there and he pulled us aside and said, "Hey guys I need to talk about something with you? Can we meet soon?" That night we went over and talked with him and he said, "I have decided to get baptized!" It was one of the best feelings that I have had on my mission. I am super excited for him and I cannot wait for those other people who in the future, or right now have been prepared to hear the message that we carry! 

That is about all that I have to say for this week! I WILL BE THE HAPPIEST MISSIONARY IN THE MISSION BY NEXT WEEK I PROMISE!!! :D

Love you tons,
Elder Wallentine

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mommy!!!

Yeah, so the Family Mission Plan is super cool! President Toone invited the entire mission to start putting it into use in every single ward in the mission, and now the stake presidents are wanting us to get it to every single member family that is in the ward! It is going to be super cool! It is basically a plan to teach members how they can be better missionaries, and how they can work more in unison with the Full Time Missionaries. It has a couple of steps with it... 1st you take a piece of paper and you write down ANY names that come to your mind, people that are members, or nonmembers, or just might need service. 2nd you pray about the list of names and then pick 2-3 names that have stuck out to you during your prayer and set some goals for them. You set a goal like, "I want to invite them to a ward picnic" or something like that, and then put a date that you want to start working with them by, and a date that you will have invited them by. It is really cool!!! It is really cool that we are able to do things like that in our mission! It is obviously the BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD!!! :D One really cool thing is that if you can find someone for us to teach and I can help with it, I can Skype in and help you guys teach them a discussion, whether it be on Facebook or in our home! So keep that in mind and let me know!

This week was a super cool and crazy week for sure! We had a ton of meetings with the mission getting together because of some things that have gone on in the mission recently. We got to meet together on Friday and on Saturday which was really cool. The meeting on Saturday was especially cool because Elder Corbrige from the Seventy, The Presiding Bishop, and Elder D. Todd Christopherson all came down to visit with only our mission which was really special! He had a lot to say, but I think that the biggest thing that stuck out to me is just something that he said at the very end of his talk. He spoke about how big of a sin "Rebellion" is. Rebellion is the sin that made it so Lucifer got kicked out of the presence of god and made him the father of all lies. I know that while I was home I for sure had a little bit of rebellion inside of me, maybe it just kinda comes with being a high schooler, but it for sure shouldn't have. Sorry for the pain that I was through High School! :) But that really hit me and that is something that I am really going to work on. I NEVER WANT TO HAVE ANY REBELLIOUS THOUGHTS AGAINST PRESIDENT TOONE, AND IN THE FUTURE, MY FAMILY AND MY SPOUSE. That is something that can tear families apart I believe just as well if not better than any other serious sin.

We saw a METEOR the other day which was pretty cool! We saw a big thing flying across the sky and then it broke into like 4 fire balls falling down to the ground! It was super cool to be able to see that happen!!!

LOVE YOU TONS!!!
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello!!

That sounds like a pretty cool little plan that the missionaries have going on in that area. Do the missionaries in the Boise mission have Facebook/iPads yet? If they do, then you should tell them to add me, and if they don't then you should just let me know! I have a couple people that I am working with back home on Facebook that are super interested that are actually looking for a church to join. So if they don't have them then I will just give you the peoples information to pass onto the missionaries in the area! It is so cool to be able to see missionary work online take off and actually find success in it! :) 

This week we had some really cool things happen in our companionship! We have set a goal as a zone to make sure to ask EVERYONE that we come in contact with for referrals, and we were able to do that this week pretty well and we were able to get 5 referrals from members, and non-members which is super cool! We just went over yesterday to contact the mother of this non-member lady that I contacted on the street and were able to give her a Book of Mormon and also one of the really cool restoration pamphlets that we have! She was super nice and said that we would be good to come back over on Tuesday to go through it with her! :) I am super excited because it is not every day that you run into people who are actually nice to you! It is super awesome! :) 

Now that I am more than halfway through my mission I am realizing some things that I feel like I have really slacked on for the last few months. I did a really good job at loving the people that I have been teaching up until I hit my 1 year mark and then it seemed to get a little bit harder. But I think that I found out why it was getting so hard for me to love them. I have been teaching, and I have been testifying, but I need to do better at sharing personal experiences with the people that I come in contact with. The experience that we had in Belgium with the two missionaries that had been praying, and also President Buysse were all praying for a family to move into the ward that would at least be at church every Sunday. I love that experience because it shows that God really does put us in situations to be able to help answer other peoples prayers while he is also answering our prayers at the same time. If Dad hadn't lost his job at Zilog, then we would have had no reason to move over to Belgium. Then also if we had chosen to move to Pocatello to get the job for ON semi-conductor there then we would have not been in Belgium to help out. It is so amazing when we realize how perfect God's plan for us really is. Although we will all go through hard times in our lives, if we stay focused on the BIGGER PICTURE rather than the little stumbling block, EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE either in the near future, or in the future further out. It is super awesome! 

I love you so much and thank you so much for all that you guys do for me! I really do enjoy getting letters from you every week!  

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mommy!!

The pants that you sent me work perfectly! I got a little bit worried when they didn't have the stretchy fabric on the sides, but then I wore them the next day and they fit really good and are super comfortable so thank you so much for getting all of that figured out for me! :) That is super exciting and crazy that it was already Izzy's birthday again, I still remember getting the letter last year when you all told me that it was her birthday. It is crazy to think that I have already been out for over a year. It has gone by so fast so far, and is only speeding up now that I am a Zone Leader. 

One thing that I know I am being tested on a ton right now is my patience. :) Right now there are not many people for us to teach in our records, and the members are still trying to kinda get the hang of doing missionary work! There are a few families in the wards that are super solid, and also most of the ones that I have met so far are super nice and are willing to at least learn how to be missionaries. It is just hard to feel successful when you are working with the members and not teaching a whole lot of non-members. But, it is going to be super awesome because the way that we are going to have the best results is by getting ALL OF THE MEMBERS ON BOARD WITH US!!! It is so amazing when you get a member to contact one of their friends and then we are able to go over and teach that person with that member there also. It is such a good testimony builder to me that God has a way to touch all of the hearts of his children. It will not always be because missionaries in white shirts and black name tags come to their door and say, "Hey we felt like we should come by and share a message with you."  We literally need the members of the church or else missionary work would DIE! :D It is awesome to know that!

This week something kinda funny happened though! We went to a member's home on Saturday night and they had these remote control cars out that apparently can get up to about 40 miles per hour. They were super cool because I have never even heard of a toy that can go that fast! The member said that before we come in to talk we could each have a turn to drive them around a little bit, so of course we did! They were super fun and then they invited us in to share a little Mormon Message with them! After we shared the video we talked for a little bit and they asked us if we could stop by their neighbors! We said, "OF COURSE WE CAN!" So since it was a little bit late by the time we got out of that house we decided that we would come back the very next day on Sunday and contact all of those people. 

None of them really ended up being interested but it is always a good experience just to talk to so many different people to hear some different sides of the story. One of the guys actually came out of the house and said, "I'm not interested, GET!" That didn't go over well in my head, but all I did is ask if we can come back sometime and talk with him and his family about why families are really so important, and he said once again, "GET!" So we told him to have a good night and we went on our way. It gave us something to laugh about though for the rest of the night, until something else happened too that we laughed at for the remainder. 

We went to this member's home who hasn't been to church in a long time and talked to him at the door for a little while. He was talking with us and kind of dodging talking about church or the gospel in any way. But finally I just asked him, "Why haven't you come to church lately?" He explained to us that he hasn't come to church because he no longer believes in the Word of Wisdom. He doesn't understand why we CAN'T do things like drink, or smoke and stuff like that. Then he took it to a whole new level and told us that from the beginning of time WATER has been bad for our bodies... :P I thought that that was super lame. But although we tried to help him understand he was not ready to hear it. He rejected the invitation and we let him be on his way. Kinda a BUMMER. But it is good to know that everyone will have another chance to accept or reject this great message that we share with others all over the world. THERE ARE SO MANY OF US THAT NEED TO HEAR IT AGAIN! Those of us who have the gospel in our lives need to understand that we NEED to continue to strengthen our faith and knowledge, so that we do not end up falling away! DOUBT YOUR DOUBTS, BEFORE YOU DOUBT YOUR FAITH! I love that quote!

Anyway, thank you so much for the awesome letter and also for all of the goodies that you guys sent to me! I love you all so much! Tell Izzy HAPPY BIRTHDAY for me, and tell Collette, and Emmett hi for me too!

Love you tons,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Oh, and here is a picture of the crazy flood that happened today! 



Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello!!

Thank you so much for doing that for me and getting the whole clothing thing taken care of! I have only gained like 10 lbs so far on my mission which I am super surprised about since everybody told me that I would be getting super fat on my mission. But as for me and my companions, we are getting BUFF/Serve the Lord! :)

This week was a super crazy week to be a ZL because first of all that whole training thing in front of the General Authority and 5 other zones was a little bit nerve racking! But luckily we ended up not having to train because they had a little bit of a change of plans when we got together that day! It was awesome! It was really cool though because we had a Mission Leadership Counsel on Wednesday and Elder Schweitzer from the Seventy talked a lot about the tools that the church has given us to become better and more effective missionaries, and he said no matter what happens they will not be taken away because of how much it is helping the work move forward! It was pretty cool! But then they also talked a lot about marriage which was kind of weird. He talked a lot about when we get married, even if your wife is WRONG she is RIGHT! Which I already knew because we hear that all of the time. But something really cool that he said is that our mission really does train us for marriage because if we can get along with our companions, then we will most likely be able to get along with our ETERNAL COMPANION! :) So far I think that I am doing a really good job with that, but I am going to really try to become a PRO at it by the time my mission is done! IT WAS AN AWESOME TRAINING! Oh, and on Thursday we had a mission tour where Elder Schweitzer talked to the whole mission, and he talked a lot about the same thing. But it was super cool! THAT WAS MY LAST MISSION TOUR ON MY MISSION! It is so weird to say that!

Other than that we are really working on finding new people to teach right now because our teaching pool is struggling right now. We are trying to get the members involved but it just doesn't seem to be going as smoothly as we expected it. Oh well though! We are going to keep on trying different things and I know that something will be able to work! I have also been working with a couple that was in Jason's mission in Phili! Ask him if he remembers Elder Bryce Esplin. Him and his wife are both members of the ward that I am serving in right now and we have gone over there a lot since I have been here. They are super cool people and told them that I would tell Jason hi for them! It was really cool to find that out! :)

I love you guys like crazy and don't know what I would ever do without such a supportive family. I have seen so many families get torn apart on my mission so far and I never want any of that for my family! It is so good for me to be able to see this while I am still young so that I know what not to do! Love you!

Love,
Elder Wallentine

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hey Everyone!!!

Yeah, so sorry that I wasn't able to email you on Monday.  If anything happens where you don't get an email on a Monday, just wait til Wednesday and you will get one! :D 

So, this week something kind of sad happened. One of the missionaries that I served around a lot in Maryvale and Tempe and was my second district leader went home. He was also training a brand new missionary named Elder Carter, so we got a call on Wednesday telling us that both Elder Babcock and I are going to be training Elder Carter at the same time that we are Zone Leaders! That is super cool and all of us get along super well! Elder Carter is from Louisiana and has a sweet accent, too, so that makes it even better! :)

Being a Zone Leader is cool and all, but it is a little bit different for sure. Rather than just having all of the time in the world to go out and worry and work in your own area, it seems that we are always out and about helping the other missionaries out with the things that they need at the time. It is a little bit frustrating dealing with some of the missionaries problems, but I guess it is a really cool learning experience for me! One thing that I am working with is having the same amount of patience with people that I am always around as I have with people that I am just meeting. That is something I want to get better at before I get home next year, seeing as though it is something that I really struggled with. I always seemed to be super patient at work and with my friends, or at school, but then when I came home I was super frustrated and was super impatient with you guys and everyone in the house. But I am getting better at it! :D

One thing that happened this week that was super cool is that since I am a zone leader we had a really cool Mission Leadership Training Meeting this last Saturday! Elder Robins from the Quorum of the Seventy came down here and talked with us a lot about some traits that will make us better husbands and wives! It was really cool because some of the things that he really focused on about missionary work directly relates to how I am going to be treating my wife in the future. He talked a lot about missionaries that have a hard time getting a long with their companions. He said that he had once talked to a missionary that was having a hard time getting along with all 4 of his companions that he has had on his mission, he told him "If you cannot learn to get along with others, DIVORCE is in your future." I thought that was super powerful, because there is so much divorce going through the world right now and I don't ever want that to come into my home when I get older. I am going to continue to do my very best to make all of my companions my BEST FRIENDS! I know that I will be able to have a more successful mission as I really focus on that as well as the fundamentals of Preach My Gospel!

Well, I can't wait to hear from you again next week! I am going to be doing a training with my companion in front of 4 other Zones and a General Authority this Thursday so be sure to keep me in your prayers that it will go well! :) 

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hello Everyone!


So this week was pretty cool because not only did we have transfers, but we were also able to go to the Mesa Temple today! :) I wasn't able to write to you on Monday since we were planning to go to the temple today.  They decided to change our P-Day to today instead. It was pretty cool though and it is always a good experience to get to go to the temple with all of the other missionaries in the zone!

Transfer meeting was really fun because it was once again another FULL MISSION MEETING! So I got to see Elder Forson, Elder Erikson, Elder May, and all of my good friends that I have made as I have been out here on my mission! It is really cool how many new friends you find when you are out here serving the Lord. I enjoy it a lot. But anyways, the results of transfer meeting for me is that I got transferred to Mesa as a Zone Leader. It is a super cool place and I am once again covering 2 different wards that meet in the same building on Sundays! :)

This week we have really been working on finding the people that are in our area book so that we can kind of get cleaned up. So far we have been having a lot of good luck coming in contact with some of the people that we have put in our plans for the days! We have about 8 lessons set up with people this week and all of them are going to be super fun. I am really looking forward to getting to know this new area and also the members of the wards that I am now serving in. I am going to try to make it a goal to get as close to the members in these two wards, as I did to the people in Ahwatukee! I feel like those 6 months that I was in Ahwatukee were probably the best 6 months of my mission so far. I loved it!

But, about the baptism.... IT HAPPENED! Even though Elder Bono and I both got transferred out of the area President Toone gave us both permission to come back to Tempe to baptize those two kids that we were teaching! It was a really cool experience and plus to kind of add onto the whole thing, they made Navajo Tacos for all of us at the end! It was awesome! And I know that there was something else that happened this last week that I am forgetting but I cannot seem to remember it at all... Oh wait! Me and my new companion, Elder Babcock, went over to a recent converts house and she needed help demolishing some of the walls in her kitchen for when she remodels! So she finally talked two boys into destroying a wall for fun, even though it really took some convincing on her part! ;) That was super fun though. I have some pictures that I will send in this email so that you can see how awesome we look with hammers and stuff in our hands!

Anyways I love what I am doing and I can’t wait to still be doing this for another 11 months! It is truly the best work that I could be doing right now! Oh, but one more thing is that my pants are still kind of  struggling with staying together so IF POSSIBLE I REALLY NEED SOME PANTS. But if you could just let me know that would be awesome. If I can’t get some soon then I will try to make them work, 2 pairs of the 3 that I have are falling apart pretty bad. Thanks for everything! I love you so much and also make sure to tell Emmett hi from his favorite uncle! (Tell Izzy and Coco hi too though! :) ) Hope all goes well for all of you this week!

Love!
Elder Brandon Wallentine
P.S We are going to try to go Turtle fishing today! ;)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello!!!!

Hey, so this week was a little bit better than last week for sure. It was kind of a bummer that that kid didn’t end up getting baptized, but that is just one of the many challenges that we have to deal with when we are out on a mission. I know that he will be ready to accept it in the future with his mom as well! They are a super cool family and we actually stopped by there the other day and the mom is still super cool with us coming over and stuff! We actually were biking the other day, and she drove past us and honked her horn and started waving like crazy at us. It is so fun when you get people like that where you can tell that they are being friendly and not trying to scare you so you fall off of the bikes!

Other than that this week was super eventful! The week started off really good on Monday when we went golfing! It was a blast! We had so much fun that we decided since today was the last Monday of the transfer we had better go and do it again. But this time we found a sweet deal where we could pay 20 dollars for 2 of us so $10 each and with it comes a golf cart, a hot dog, and a game of golf! It was awesome!

Then on Tuesday we had a Zone Meeting which was super good, but the best part was for sure after when (since I am the District Leader) we went over to this burger place as a district and ate there for lunch all together! It is always really cool to get together like that and talk outside of meetings. We also that night got to go and meet with a family that we have been teaching. The mom is a member of the church, and there is an 8 year old girl, and a 13 year old boy who are not baptized. But, they are both getting baptized this Saturday which is super exciting! They were just interviewed on Sunday, and now they are all set!

The last really cool and funny thing that we did is we went to this crazy burrito place for lunch on Friday because one of the elders that we live with got a gift card from his dad to take us all out to lunch. We ordered the Jumbo Burrito which I didn’t picture to be even close to as jumbo as it really was. In the picture my arm is right up next to it and it is literally as long as my forearm. It was ridiculous. But each of us got our own and we forced each other to finish it all in one sitting! Definitely finished it in about 15 minutes! NO BIG DEAL! :) But then that night for dinner we had Mexican Food. :O  There might be such a thing as TOO MUCH MEXICAN FOOD IN ONE DAY!!! But other than that we had another good time golfing in our KITTY-CAT SHIRTS today! We were driving golf carts around and like drifting on the side walks and stuff! We drove through a couple of big huge puddles and got splashed which felt super good since it was like 110 degrees outside! :) Then we decided to take the extra balls and go to the driving range :) We got some really good hits off of it for sure!

Well that’s all I got for you guys this time. Oh except on last little thing. TRANSFER CALLS CAME LAST NIGHT! I have been called to be a ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ZONE LEADER!!! BOOM AND THE CROWD GOES WILD! I am super excited and I can’t wait to see who my new companion is going to be. I will let you guys know my new address when I know what it is next Monday! I love you guys a ton and can’t wait to hear from all of you guys again! :) Tell the Elwood’s that I said HI! I pasted the note that Makenzie gave me the night that I left in my Journal and just saw it again last night! It is super awesome!

Thanks again Mom! Oh and my pants are like falling apart now out here so would I be able to get some new ones? I guess Biking for a long time does that to pants for some weird reason. LAME!

Love you tons!
Elder Brandon Wallentine

P.S. We found some pretty cool puppy tattoos at that Mexican food place. It was pretty funny! (Don't worry they are gone now!)




Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello!!
Hey, so this week was super crazy for sure! But on Monday we had a blast going off to play basketball with all of the missionaries in the zone. Then when we got back I found that the same toe that I had dislocated began to hurt a little bit again. It isn’t too bad though. I haven’t been able to fully bend it since I dislocated it, but usually it is just fine and it hasn’t stopped me from working. So that was kinda a bummer. However, the next two days even though I was super tired from playing basketball, we had a ton of chances to do service this last week which made up for all of the rest of the stuff that happened! :D

We got called over by this guy from Europe on Sunday night and he started talking to us about how he knows some Mormons and stuff and how they are really good people. Then he mentioned that he had traveled through Belgium, and so I said "I lived there for a little while!" So we talked about that for a few minutes. Then we also found out that he was having a bunch of rocks delivered to his house to spread around his yard and that he was going to try to hire some people to do it for him (because he is a little bit older). So I jumped up and said, "Hey, we will do it!" He was completely caught off guard but then he accepted and we went over there for Tuesday and Wednesday morning and worked for him for like 2 hours each time. It was some good work. He said that because we did that for him, and didn't even accept his money that he was going to try to get back in contact with some of his Mormon friends that live by him in Chandler. It was a great experience! Oh and he is also coming and taking us out to Apple Bee's this next week! :D He is a super cool guy!

Then on Thursday we went out and did some service for one of the members in one of our wards. We had gone over and trimmed up some of the trees that are in his back yard, and this time we dug out some little canals so that they could be watered a little bit easier. It was super easy, but it was way fun!

Other than that we had one more crazy thing happen too! Just last night we had this crazy storm come through Tempe where I am at. Some people still think that it might have been a tornado. But I don’t think so. It was raining super hard and then the wind was fast enough that it tore trees in half, and also took some of the trees straight out of the ground. Luckily we were still in our dinner appointment when the storm hit. But it was super crazy!!! :D In our dinner though, the member was showing us all of these cool like herb things that if you put some drops on your tongue one of them makes it so that you cannot taste sugar for like 2 hours. I put some on my tongue and ate an Oreo. It literally tasted just like flour, and coco powder. It was nasty! Then he did some acupuncture on our hands which was kinda cool!

Well the baptism didn't end up happening this week and probably won’t be for a while, and most of our appointments canceled this week. :( That's always a bummer, but we were able to keep smiles on our face through it all so I am super happy about that!!! :0

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine





Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello Everyone!!!

That is so cool that Brenden is going off to Argentina! I can't wait for when he gets into the MTC and then out of the MTC. Our mission in the past has had a lot of missionaries come out to our mission for a while when they are waiting for their Visa’s. So there is a chance that if he doesn't get his Visa in a timely manner that he could come here to the Arizona Tempe Mission for a time! President Toone loves having Visa waiters in the mission! :) OH and how Facebook works for us is that we are able to contact certain people. We cannot just talk to family and stuff about personal stuff, but if we are talking to friends/family back home then we need to just make sure that we keep it focused on the work, and also just let President Toone know what is going on! :) It is really kinda cool/weird having an iPad and Facebook as a missionary and now being out for just over a year, I am not sure how much I like it. But, it is a way that some more people will be able to hear the gospel, so I think it is for sure a good cause!

This week was a pretty good week for me and Elder Bono here in the Tempe area! We didn't have as many chances to teach people as we have in the past, but we were able to find some new people that we have been trying to contact in the past a lot! :) One of the ladies that we have been trying to get in contact with since I have been in this area has never answered the door, but I have gained a huge testimony of HARD WORK and PERSISTENCE here on the mission! It seems like no matter how hard Satan works on us to discourage us in situations that come up, if we are just persistent, we can blow him out of the water. It is never that God is trying to punish us for something that we have done when things don't go our way. I know now that it is totally just a test for us. I love the quote from “Evan Almighty” when Morgan Freeman says, "Will God just give us patience, or will he give us the opportunity to be patient?" God is not just going to say, "Oh hey well you asked for it so here ya go!" It is not always going to be that easy. He more often I think says, "Oh hey, You asked for it so here is some WORK that you can do!" Which is a huge blessing for all of us for sure! But after all of the persistence we were able to make contact with her on Saturday and teach her more about prophets! She is also going to be coming to church with us next week! Super exciting!

Well on a less spiritual note. This morning was a pretty fun morning for sure. We woke up like usual at 5:30 and exercised for about an hour and a half, then we ate breakfast, and got ready for the day and stuff. But then is when the morning gets super exciting! One of the missionaries that I live with, Elder Francis, pulled out a bottle of hot sauce and said, "Hey Elder Wallentine, If you drink this I will give you $10!" So obviously I said, "HECK NO THAT IS TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT!" So I ramped up the price to $20. Then if you would have guessed I TOTALLY DRANK IT! :) Its called Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce and it was a 10 oz bottle of it! That was probably one of the hottest and least enjoyable things that I have ever done, but I got it all done in 1 minute or less! I just downed the entire bottle, and now I am $20 richer!!! I’m a happy missionary! But as you could have guessed, when Dad always says, "IT BURNS GOING IN, AND IT BURNS COMING OUT!" He was totally right! haha :) thank you so much for all that you do for me!!!

LOVE,
Elder Brandon Wallentine

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hello Everyone,

It is so amazing to me of all the little things that God gives us that we can either take for granted, or we can really go and show our gratitude! I mean the tablet incident probably didn't seem too small for Emily, but in the big picture it is pretty small. That is one of the most important lessons that we can learn here on earth I believe, HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU! Although all of us have little bumps, or boulders that are trying to keep us from really feeling our Heavenly Father’s love for us, HE IS STILL THERE!

There is a really cool Mormon Message that just came out this year "The Savior Wants to Forgive." It is a talk that was actually given by Elder Cardon of the 70. Just about 6 months ago Elder Cardon came to the Arizona Tempe Mission and talked to all of us, and gave us training on how we are able to be more effective missionaries. So I have great respect for him. It tells a story of a man who had messed up by doing drugs, and he had also got involved in some robberies, too. He tells one particular instance where he had just committed a robbery and he was hiding outside in some bushes from the cops. He realized how wrong it was that he had done that, and was placing death as an option in his head. But, as he was getting the gun ready he heard a voice saying, "I'm still here." Because of the Holy Ghost and the ability that he has to speak to us, this man was able to have a second chance in life. Because he listened to the Holy Ghost’s prompting he was able to find out the way that he could use the ATONEMENT in his life. He repented of the wrongs he had done and made a 180 with his life! Its a great story. Even though your situation is completely different, it still shows you how the Holy Ghost works through us sometimes to tell us something that can help us. God loves that man in the story, and he loves you and Emily so much that he knew it was important to help out in this circumstance. SUPER AWESOME! :)

This week went really well for us because one of the kids we have been teaching decided that he wanted to go out on High Adventure with the boys in the ward! When he came back he told us that he had a super good time and also he is still getting baptized this next week on July 26th!!! I am super excited for sure! Up at camp he was always talking in a batman voice apparently so all of the boys and the leaders were calling him batman for the entire week on the trip! Super funny!!! Then we had another Mission President Devotional last night and we were able to bring him with us. I think that was one of the best ones possible for him to attend because President Toone related the Holy Ghost to a cell phone. You cannot always know exactly how a cell phone works, and how you are now able to just at the click of a few buttons be talking to someone on the other side of the world. Also, in some places we have worse "reception" than other places, but when we are in the right place, we will have full access to the spirit! The spirit will be able to talk to us. Sometimes we cannot explain how the spirit feels, or how we will be able to recognize it. But we do know that he is there, and he will lead us and guide us to do the things that God wants us to do! It was a super good night. That was one of the highlights of the week other than when I hit my 1 YEAR MARK! That is weird to think about, so I am not thinking about it too much! 

Thank you so much for the awesome package! I love all of the goodies and candy that you guys sent me, as well as the sweet shirt! I love you all so much and can't wait to hear back from you next week! YOU'RE AWESOME!

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine



Monday, July 7, 2014

Hello Everyone!
Thank you so much for the awesome letters once again! 

That is actually pretty funny that you mentioned the missionary’s family that just moved into your ward back home. I have known about that for about 6 months now because he came up to me and found out that I was from Meridian, Idaho and I told him what part and what ward and he said, "Oh my parents are going to be moving into that area soon." That is super funny that you finally met them though. He is a pretty cool guy even though I haven't really served around him much. We usually just say hi in passing at mission conferences and stuff. It is really fun though.

On the 4th of July here on the mission it was for sure a little bit different than the 4th back home. We went out and just had a normal day from the time we woke up until about 5 o'clock. But then we had to go back inside the apartment and just kinda hang out for the rest of the night. I got a really cool package from Kortney and the Peterson family though! It was pretty fun! It had some fun little 4th of July stuff in it and a little bit of candy and a shirt that says, "YOU MAD CUZ!" I laughed like crazy!

Oh, and I am super excited for this coming transfer because the 2 elders that got transferred into Tempe to live with us are super cool! One of them is an elder that was one of my District Leaders in Maryvale, and the other one is a missionary that also served with me in Maryvale! It is going to be a super fun house! We are going on a house diet and a work out plan because one of the elders brought some weights with him and a work out bench! I am super excited and I am going to get REAL SWOLL! :)
Have a good week!

Love,
Elder Brandon Wallentine